• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

SErick

Private
Jan 2, 2020
23
31
So, after I just made 760k in my last try (here) I was feeling a bit unsatisfied with the result. I made a few significant errors and at the end I was selling off the works - right down to the last couple of spare mechs. It just felt kindof not quite worthy. So needing a goal, and clearly having too much time on my hands, I thought about the blunders I had made and what improvements were possible and decided to make a max score my goal and start a new career. Furball was in business, with a new lance and the same old crew, ready to take on the periphery.

I was a bit inspired by MarkDey's thread about Gramps run (here) to write a bit more about my latest career than I did about the last, though not nearly to the detail that he is. So this thread chronicles the journey a bit, and will be updated with more detail as I get to the end. I didn't keep detailed notes till about 300 days, so quite of bit of this is from memory, so there will be the occasional inaccuracy I'm sure - hopefully nothing terrible. Overall though, I hope this might help anyone looking to do their own attempt a bit as to what it looks like. This is going to be a multipost journey to help my writing process, but for clarification sake it is down to 212 days remaining as I write this now.

The things I knew I did wrong in the last career - missteps in navigation, errors in contracts, combined with working to get Kurita on my side; correcting should be enough to do it... but I will see.

I set the difficulty modifiers as before to get the multiplier of 1.0 - 3 parts, unequipped mechs, hard enemy force strength, generous salvage, lethality, ironman, rare mechwarriors, mech destruction, and normal pay.

The starting lance was a vindicator, centurion, panther, urbanmech and spider. Quite respectable for a new merc company and so it was off to find some contracts.

Furball started his journey on Independence, and cleared the contracts there. Not much to say, some salvage was earned and another panther added to the mech bay. First repairs to the Argo were to be structure and power - gotta get those engines running to speed things up!

Early on getting planets visited was the goal over contracts, as this gave time for Argo upgrades and repairs after planetside stops, so the first 100 days or so were pretty uneventful, though the lance improved and many systems (or at least their jump points) were visited. Crucially, access was also gained to the black markets.

Having touched most systems in the outer periphery including a big loop through Restoration space and the farthest planets Furball set sights on Canopian space and focused on those. Balancing factions worked well and I was able to keep positive reputation with the Canopians till getting to the last couple of planets. Then a quick jaunt was made to get to the last few inner neutral planets outside Capellan space. In this segment a fortuitous black market find was made: a complete MAD-2R. it took selling pretty much every stored chassis in the Argo to get it, but it was worth it. This turbocharged the headshot madness, at about day 1000. At this point Furball had already build a MAD-3D and was only running a couple of Centurions for LRM support. But with the Marauders in place the hardest contracts became reasonable and the Heavies for LRM support were skipped in favor of going straight to Highlanders.

Furball went back toward Canopian space and passed or stopped at the remaining planets there and between the Magistry of Canopus and FWL space. Almost all jump points on the left and centre sections of the map had been touched, and at this point Furball was hated by the Canopians, and Friendly with FWL. It was time to arc out toward Federated Suns space and get some Capellan and Davion contracts to improve the general reputations.
 
  • 3Like
Reactions:

SErick

Private
Jan 2, 2020
23
31
So the next leg saw Furball Navigate through Capellan space to the edge of Federated Suns (but not in). Fortunately the "The Defector" flashpoint in which you hunt down a Capellan defector for the Combine showed up and Furball was able to capitalize. This pushed the reputation with the Draconis combine to liked meaning the company would be able to accept 4 star contracts with Kurita. This fixed the big problem that I faced last time of not being able to get the reputation with the Combine started. There are several black markets in Capellan space as well, and another MAD-2R was assembled.

Furball arced back toward FWL space and found himself at roughly the halfway point of the career. I took a couple of screenshots that show that with 604 days left he was friendly with the Capellans, (58), Fed Suns (69) Lyrans (64), Honored by the Free Worlds League (100), Pirates (80), but disliked by the Taurians (-35) and Loathed by the Magistracy of Canopus (-84). The chassis collections were all complete, and the main lance consisted of the two MAD-2R's (one all lasers, one Gauss + 2 L Pulse ++) and 2 HGN-733 (4xLRM15, 2 ML) a secondary lance of Griffin-1S, Vindicator, and 2 CN9-A's provided for tonnage limited drops. He had visited 104 planets by this time and earned 250,240,000 CBills.

This put his planet count slightly behind my last run but CBills ahead. So it's looking good at this point, but a decision had to be made - cut back towards the Magistracy of Canopus to finish getting the rep down to -100, but lose time to revisited planets, or finish the remaining planets in the FWL and hope to get that last contract to maximize, at the risk of having to backtrack even further? The decision was to keep going to new planets now at the risk of more backtracking later, and it paid off. A couple of planets later a contract took the rep to -94, and then at the next planet the needed contract was found. In completing FWL space contracts also pushed Lyran rep to max, but at the cost of the Capellan rep, which sunk to hated, just as Furball headed back into Capellan space.
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:

SErick

Private
Jan 2, 2020
23
31
So from day 600 (remaining) or so on to about 350 days left Furball worked over Capellan space, filling in planets, and dropping down to complete contracts in the favourable locations. The grind was on. The lances were set and so salvage really wasn't being used to improve the strength anymore, and a stable of 10/10/10/10 mechwarriors meant there wasn't any need for progression there. The Argo got finishing with around 500 days remaining. A typical planet meant landing, purchasing all available mech parts, choosing the most favorable contract order, and running through them all. With using "overshooting" any planets that didn't have a good number of contracts were skipped after the jump point was reached. If a black market was reached any complete starleague mechs were purchased and stored - providing a stash of double heat sinks. The light lance now consisted of a starleague Griffin, Crab, and Phoenix Hawk, along with a regular old Centurion. By day 315 or so Federated Suns space was entered, along with flashpoints at Mendham, and on Midale Draconis rep got maxed out. The Flak Jackals were dispatched on New Vallis, and then back to Davion space and Desolate Plains.

At day 269 I started taking more detailed notes to see how progress was going. On this day Furball was on Desolate Plains, where the company completed 3 Davion and 3 Kurita Contracts, and were unable to do 1 Taurian contract. Following contract completion the salvaged chassis sold were: AS7D, AWS-8T, BNC-3M, BLR-1G, CTF-0X, CTF-1X, CP-10-HQ (x2), HGN-733P (x2), KGC-0000, QKD-5A, STK-3F, VTR-9B (x2), VTR-9S, and ZEU-6T (x2). Not a bad haul! This had a total value of 20,613,120 CBills.
Reputation was at 100 for Davion, Kurita, Marik, and Lyrans. at -100 for Capellans, and Magistracy, -81 for Taurians, and +44 for the pirates. I know soon the Pirates will have to take that rep hit, but in the mean time Furball continues to take their contracts and use the black markets.
Just about every score is at max this point except CBills (59557/80000) and star systems (75,500/85000 - 151 systems / 170). It's looking pretty good at this point. only 19 more systems to reach, and roughly 200M CBills, along with the last reputation shift. Furball also hasn't sold a single piece of non-chassis equipment since purchasing the first MAD2R so there are millions in cash available there too.

Merope is the next system landed upon, on Day 247. Here the CBills score reaches 61,194 and reps adjust a bit. 156 planets reached. I did regret dropping down to the planet though, as the transit time back out is very long.

Next up Wrentham where Taurian rep hits max negative (pirates to +61). 159 Systems visited, 62,909 CBill score

Day 212 - Flashpoint on Shaunavon (Hearts and Minds) The black market was also a bonus, with another MAD-2R available (now up to 3, 2 for the primary, one backup) and a BLR-1GB available, along with many partial chassis. CBill score reaches 64,428

Day 196 - Glentworth and "One man's trash" flashpoint. the black market yields another SL mech, this time a Zeus-5T. CBill score goes to 66,657 and planets to 163. Pretty much at Kerensky score, and still almost 200 days to go!!!! It's looking good for Furball.

And that's up to date now. Looking at these last few planets it looks like around 18M Cbills, or 1800 points on average per stop, with stops around 20 days apart. That pace will put Furball easily to max score. The time between stops will get decreased but the CBills per stop might also drop as there are fewer good planets left to go to. A few more planets are undisturbed in Davion space, and though the earnings per stop will be less,Furball will probably finish in Arano space where reputation won't be an issue. (Targets primarily pirates and Taurians).
 
  • 4Like
Reactions:

SErick

Private
Jan 2, 2020
23
31
Getting closer! Here is the navigation map from 269 days
. map at day 269.png
And now at 149 days.
149 day star map.png

As you can see at 269 I had left a couple of systems in Capellan space, which I thought might be useful for reputation if needed. As it turns out they weren't needed, but did hold some good contracts. Sindalin on day 184, Gardnaus on day 175. Couldn't sell since there was no black market and so back at Lochmantle there was a nice boost from accumulated chassis to CBill score of 71564. Furball's pirate reputation has slipped to -6 .. .a bit earlier than desired, but needed to drop it anyway, and black markets aren't totally inaccessible yet.

Traveled over to Bromhead and picked up some good contracts there, though the salvage amounts were disappointing. CBill score now at 72,904, and planets at 168. Heading to Corodiz as you can see in the day 149 map and after that the next new system gets the star system completion bonus. Looking at how many unvisited planets there are, wow that's a lot of planets added since the original!

There is also the Heavy Metal Campaign waiting for Furball out at the edge of the map. However, I'm not going to do it until after the career is over because it would probably mess up the reputation. Anyone else notice you can lose reputation max/min bonus if you go over +/- 100?
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

SErick

Private
Jan 2, 2020
23
31
So, Corodiz wasn't worth dropping down to the planet, but a couple of contracts and the black market on Larsha earned a stop there. It was previously visited, but long enough ago to respawn contracts.

From there it was on into Restoration space, with Mechdur and The Itrom. On Itrom the black market was accessed at a steep price, but this will be the last time, as the pirate rep has now dropped to -55 after the contracts on this planet. On the other hand, the score from CBills got to 78,527. Close enough that all that is required at this point is to finish off that pirate rep down to -100. There is more than enough miscellaneous parts to sell in the Argo's storage to get the last 15,000,000 CBills. Heck, Furball has 922 medium lasers alone! That's almost half way there by themselves!

104 days left, and Furball's career score is 764,042. Feeling like this run is about as good as it can be.
day 104 score.png
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:

MarkDey

Colonel
5 Badges
Mar 18, 2002
1.017
241
  • Stellaris
  • BATTLETECH
  • BATTLETECH: Flashpoint
  • BATTLETECH: Season pass
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
Nice! I think it's interesting how you chose to do most of your planet visiting in the beginning, which let the Argo improve and mech refits to happen and Black Market access to be obtained.

I haven't figured out what factions I'm going to ultimately end up with, but I've found that it's much easier to get to Honored than Loathed for the Lyran Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine. I'll probably go for the Free Worlds League and Federated Suns as the other Honored factions. I think that letting my reputation with the Pirates get as low as it did was a mistake, but I guess we'll see how it turns out; the driving plan for me was to take every contract possible.

It looks like you didn't do the Heavy Metal flashpoint at all. I'm about to start that chain in my campaign and trying to figure out how I can continue to make progress in visiting systems and taking contracts while also circling back to that area. It's an interesting problem. :)
 

SErick

Private
Jan 2, 2020
23
31
Nice! I think it's interesting how you chose to do most of your planet visiting in the beginning, which let the Argo improve and mech refits to happen and Black Market access to be obtained.

I haven't figured out what factions I'm going to ultimately end up with, but I've found that it's much easier to get to Honored than Loathed for the Lyran Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine. I'll probably go for the Free Worlds League and Federated Suns as the other Honored factions. I think that letting my reputation with the Pirates get as low as it did was a mistake, but I guess we'll see how it turns out; the driving plan for me was to take every contract possible.

It looks like you didn't do the Heavy Metal flashpoint at all. I'm about to start that chain in my campaign and trying to figure out how I can continue to make progress in visiting systems and taking contracts while also circling back to that area. It's an interesting problem. :)
I think planet hopping in the beginning is helpful because at that point mech refits are slow, and without the upgraded engines you have a greater time to drop down to planets too. This probably saves a few days in travel, maybe 10-20 days at most. If it was close at the end this could be that one last planet to put you over the edge, but since I got a lucky run it probably didn't end up making a difference in this case.

Faction reputation is I think the most important aspect of getting a good run. If you can't capitalize on the available contracts you end up at a massive disadvantage. The difference between doing 3 contracts and doing 5 or 6 contracts on a planet is huge! Plus, once you have them set up then you can go back and forth, which helps to maintain the reputation. I really do think this is the hardest part of getting a really good score. As you note, it can be hard to find enough lyran and kuritan contracts to drop those reputations, so those are definite max rep choices. (plus, they both give a good number of contracts, especially the lyrans). Canopian and Taurian factions give few contracts once you get to the opposite sides of the map, so those make sense to go to minimum. After that it's down to Capellans, Marik and Fed Suns. It seems to have worked well for me to max Marik and Davion, but I think any 2 of those three will do. This leaves out the pirates, but you could put them as a max too if you dropped one of the big three.

I did skip the heavy metal flashpoint... still trying to decide if I'm going to risk an unknown reputation effect on it as it's in reach from restoration space. There's also the other one beside it, Red Hunt, which i think I can safely do.
 

SErick

Private
Jan 2, 2020
23
31
After Itrom Furball was so close - a quick jump over to Corodomir and it seemed this was kind of a fitting place to finish, but there weren't quite enough contracts to get the pirate rep to - 100 so it did turn out that one more jump to Guldra, was needed. Here there were a couple more anti-pirate contracts and the job was done.

Success! This run went way better than I thought it possibly could! I think it's probably nuts to repeat after a previous Kerensky run, but I can tell you that this one is it for sure - no more need to try and do better.

So with 74 days left to go, Furball reached max score. :D

Here are screen shots showing the completion of this goal:
day 74 score - goal achieved.pngday 74 mech bay.pngday 74 reputation.pngday 74 map.pngdifficulty settings for run.png

Wanted to show the mechs that I was using because I was pretty happy with those. I counted 103 different chassis owned at this point as well! Somehow Furball ended up with no raven 1X (but did have a 3X). I think every other mech was collected. (I'm wondering if the raven never showed up because I didn't do the prototype flashpoint)

So now those flashpoints out in the far periphery.... what the heck, let's go see what's out there!

I was a little worried that it might have reputation effects, but if so, oh well. Furball had his success already and it's documented here, so if the actual final career score loses a few points due to rep then I won't be worried about that :)
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

SErick

Private
Jan 2, 2020
23
31
Last Career update - did go do the unknown origins flashpoint - Kurita rep at 107 but no problems encountered (more than 5 at max for bonus anyway)

The flashpoint was not quite what I was expecting, but that's ok.

Anywacareer score 770015.png
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:

Panzer-Killer

Captain
66 Badges
Oct 10, 2018
401
40
  • BATTLETECH - Digital Deluxe Edition
  • BATTLETECH: Season pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Premium edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
After Itrom Furball was so close - a quick jump over to Corodomir and it seemed this was kind of a fitting place to finish, but there weren't quite enough contracts to get the pirate rep to - 100 so it did turn out that one more jump to Guldra, was needed. Here there were a couple more anti-pirate contracts and the job was done.

Success! This run went way better than I thought it possibly could! I think it's probably nuts to repeat after a previous Kerensky run, but I can tell you that this one is it for sure - no more need to try and do better.

So with 74 days left to go, Furball reached max score. :D

Here are screen shots showing the completion of this goal:
View attachment 590896View attachment 590897View attachment 590898View attachment 590899View attachment 590900

Wanted to show the mechs that I was using because I was pretty happy with those. I counted 103 different chassis owned at this point as well! Somehow Furball ended up with no raven 1X (but did have a 3X). I think every other mech was collected. (I'm wondering if the raven never showed up because I didn't do the prototype flashpoint)

So now those flashpoints out in the far periphery.... what the heck, let's go see what's out there!

I was a little worried that it might have reputation effects, but if so, oh well. Furball had his success already and it's documented here, so if the actual final career score loses a few points due to rep then I won't be worried about that :)
I think you're right assessing the missing Raven RNV-1X due to not having run the "Prototype" flashpoint yet, but do not worry: such flashpoint will sooner or later pop up again for you to run and get a chance of collecting the RNV-1X too. AFAIK, though, there should be as much as 110 different 'Mech chassis' variants available in game, as in my completetist seen-all/done-all/got-all campaign I have collected 109 of them and I'm still missing the Spider SDR-5K only. ;) Good hunt!